tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN June 29, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
that does it for us tonight. "cnn tonight" with don lemon starts now. this is cnn breaking news. >> we are going to begin with breaking news tonight. look at the video just after a terror attack in istanbul kills 42 people. america strikes isis. iraq says a convoy of more than 300 people, the operation is still going on. a u.s. official said american planes conducted a precision
strike on a multi-truck convoy after iraq had retaken the city from isis. it's an isis convoy near fallujah. let's get to elise labott, who joins us by phone. the fight against isis, what can you tell us? >> reporter: that's right. the operation began monday night and it's still ongoing. u.s. officials tell cnn's barbara star that the u.n. did conduct a precision strike on a convoy coming out of fallujah. u.s. officials can't say how many isis fighters have been killed, but the iraqis are saying that the convoy had more than 500 vehicles in the desert southwest area of fallujah leaving dozens killed. so obviously this is still an
ongoing situation, very fluid. but certainly not surprising that the coalition would be stepping up its attack against isis. >> what does this do to isis, elise? does this cripple isis? >> well, you know that u.s. coalition working along with iraqi forces have really made a dent in isis. i think, you know, one of the things that you've seen in recent days and weeks is that isis has really lost a lot of territory in the battlefield, not just in iraq, iraqi forces were capturing fallujah in the last week or so, but also in syria, in the manjib area of northwest syria, where kurds with the help of u.s. air strikes have made a dent in isis. this was part of all of that. certainly if there were 500 vehicles in the convoy and dozens have been killed, it
certainly lab further loss. but not only in terms of numbers killed but in terms of morale, don. one thing we've been talking about since the istanbul attack is that as isis suffers these battlefield losses in iraq and syria, the feeling is that they are going to try to accept up the international plateau. so obviously a big success for iraqi forces in recent weeks in areas like fallujah and also there could be more attacks by isis outside of the battlefield. >> dozens of isis militants are killed on a 500-vehicle convoy fleeing fallujah. elise labott is with us on the phone here tonight. fallujah is just 40 miles from baghdad. what's the importance of that? >> well, it was one of the
biggest cities outside of baghdad and mosul. fallujah is really a big strategic stronghold of isis, but now the big push is going to be towards mosul, and the u.s. and iraqis have been talking about how iraqi forces could advance on mosul. certainly the u.s. would like to see that sooner rather than later. we're hearing maybe sometime in the fall. fallujah obviously a big gain for the iraqi forces but mosul is really the big net target. >> elise, stand by. i want to go to cnn's ivan watson. ivan is live in istanbul. i don't know if you have any information on what happened in fallujah, but what is the latest on the terror attack? >> well, what's remarkable is that within a matter of hours after three suicide bombers attacked istanbul's ataturk
airport, the airport was back open for business again. you can see the traffic coming over my shoulder here, those are taxis, cars coming in and out of the airport, which is back up and running, people putting up little memorials to some of the victims killed in this -- what looks like it was a coordinated wave of attacks by at least three suicide bombers and the count, the death toll has tragically risen as a 22-year-old turkish woman succumb to her injuries in hospital within the last couple of hours. now the turkish government continues to point the finger at isis as the number one suspect here. they have not yet identified to us and we don't know whether they, themselves, the turkish authorities have figured out who the bombers actually were. the government officials have suggested that they believe the bombers were foreigners. but beyond that we don't know
very much except for the fact that they approached the airport on tuesday night in a taxi. they were carrying kalashnikov assault rifles, suicide vests and worked to the to penetrate the airport and get inside and spread mayhem and kill and wound so many people. >> we're also hearing that investigators are obviously talking to the taxi driver who dropped off the terrorists. do we know any more about the others who might be involved in this plot or are ready to carry out another one? >> reporter: that's another part that we don't really know about. what potential accomplices are there. you have to be sure that the turkish security forces are hard at work, tracing phones, rounding up intelligence as well, trying to figure this out. and you have to take into consideration the fact that the turkish police, turkish
investigators have been pursuing isis for months within turkey, arresting people in a series of raids in different parts of the country, but that has not taken out this cancer that has metastasized in turkey within recent years because isis has now, if this turns out to be an isis attack, this will have been the third suspected isis suicide attack in istanbul just this year. it is a presence here, it is very real and this most likely very much a wake-up call to those turks who might not quite have recognized the threat that this group now poses to their country. >> senior international correspondent ivan watson live from istanbul. i want to bring forward bob
baier, juliette kayyem. bob, you first. your reaction to the news that dozens of isis militants have been killed in air strikes as they fled fallujah. >> don, this was almost inevitable. these guys had to leave the city, they had to leave in vehicles and the u.s. military was lined up to go after these guys. you know, they get on their phones, they can watch it night by i.r. and the rest of it so this was inevitable and we're eventually going to push back the islamic state and take back territory, including mosul. isis will respond by striking outside the country. it's inevitable there's not much can you do about except rely on the local authorities, like
turkey. >> was this an operation that was already under way? >> i think it was coincidental. we've been watching fallujah. the iraqis have been very good about, you know, closing off the city. there was one route of escape and the isis fighters decided to take it. they decided to take it en masse. we've seen this in other cities but they've been more successful when they left tikrit and this time they were almost all reined in. so when they went, they were waiting for them. can you tell from the weaponry expended, hell fire missiles, cluster bombs, j-dams.
>> when you look at this video, what does this tell you? >> i tell you, this is a lot of ord ordinates going into a lot of different targets. the only time you saw munitions not directed at a specific target were the cluster munitions and that's the tiny flashes, those are submunitions going after pieces of armor or metallic vehicles. this was well planned. this was a lot of aircraft up there doing this. this was probably a dozen aircraft, fully loaded, ready to go and this was great that the iraqis were able to get in on this. i think they needed a shot in the arm, the boost this is going to give them. the iraqi army aviation was rightfully taking a lot of credit for what happened.
>> president barack obama said this yesterday in response to yesterday's attack on isis. take a listen. >> it's an indication of how little these vicious organizations have to offer, that beyond killing innocents, they are continually losing ground, unable to govern those areas that they've taken over, that they're going to be defeated in syria, they're going to be defeated in iraq. they are going to be on the run wherever they hide and we will not rest. >> i should say yesterday's attack and isis. so juliette, these strikes seem to be an example of what he was talking about. what's your response? >> absolutely. terrorism and counterterrorism are sort of duelling narratives. yesterday in turkey isis had a successful narrative for them, those pictures, the death toll,
where they struck, whether they take credit for it or not was a statement to the outside world and potential recruits that we're still in the game. less than -- about 24 hours later, the game is up so to speak. we all know they have lost fallujah and the fact that turkey -- that iraq comes out with a press conference, with these images, this is the counterimages to the airport we saw yesterday. this is to say to the outside world and potential recruits, it's all about recruitment now. this is isis. these guys dead now, this is what will end up to you. this will be continuing duelling narratives until isis is eventually defeated, which most of us are pretty confident will happen because you'll still have the terrorism because it doesn't need to be directed by a central geographic force. >> where do you think isis was
trying to flee to? >> i think they were going to go up to mosul, villages. it's pretty sparse country there, anbar province. you just can't hide from the u.s. air force. they're too advanced. they can watch these people and, again, listening to the phone and communications. you know, mosul, it will fall one day. i agree with juliette. it's just going to fall and so will raqqa. i also agree we're going to see this movement spread out in places we do expect it like yes, ma'am -- yemen or libya. the sunni are lashing out at the west and there's no easy solution to it period. >> everybody stay with me. when we come back, breaking
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from them? let's talk about what happened yesterday. juliette, i'm going to start with you. there were three bombs, one in the parking lot, one in the first floor in the departures yaer area, one on the ground floor in the arrivals area. >> it may have been that they split up, that their original plan was different. we're going to learn stuff and maybe things weren't perfect with turkey, but the one image that i keep coming back to is the police officer to cleared that hallway. when we talk about what can we do about terrorism to protect people, one is to have quick responses. he saved lots of lives.
i am very focused on this taxi cab issue. this is new. it's the second terrorist attack and i do think they are coming to these airports with taxis, there's something to learn from there, something to engage these taxi companies. this is the second time in the last two airport attacks. >> they get someone to drop them off, who unwittingly is helping. they have no idea. >> right. no clue. and then they don't leave a car behind so that that can then be evidence. >> so, everyone, let's watch the three videos that we have from yesterday's attacks and get your reaction. first this is a video where people are running and then you see an explosion. bob, you first. what is this telling you all ? >> i tend to frame these things that they knew what they were doing and we'll find out in that's true. but you set up a bomb in one airport, everybody runs in the opposite direction, it gives you
more targets to hit. also, what i'm intrigued about is did these guys have dead man switches? if somebody's hit by a bullet, they lose consciousness almost immediately and they don't really think about hitting the plunger on a suicide vest. so i'm wondering if there wasn't some sort of command control from outside possibility or a dead man switch. in any case, three bombs went off. sounds like it was all the bombs, and if they're using home made explosives, acetone peroxide. it tells me they knew what they were doing. that worries me, a team like that getting into the united states and carrying out the same sort of attack. when john brennan talks about this yesterday, it's a possibility, we have to take this very seriously. >> okay. let's look at this next video. you see the gunman shot.
he's shot and he falls to the floor right there. it looks like he's shot again right at that point and then you can see him trying to pull something and then he detonates the vest. to you now, colonel francona, you're playing close attention to the terrorist actions in this video. what are you saying? >> i see a real committed individual who wants to blow up his vest. he knows he's going to die. he's been shot multiple times. the turkish police officer, this is the guy that saved a lot of lives. he downed this guy, went over, and i think he realized either the guy was about to detonate or there was no way to stop the debt nati debtonation.
he knew he was going to deand he we -- die and he went in there specifically to blow himself up. it shows a level of dedication. >> and it shows who the terrorist is picking to do it, somebody who is absolutely committed to doing it. >> it takes a certain level of training to do this, to convince someone to be a martyr for their religion. can you say you're going to do it but when you get somebody actually willing to do it, when you watch this video and watch the effort he went through to detonate himself, it gives me pause. >> lastly, this video of a man in a red shirt. he's carrying a gun. bob, you say what he's wearing is important. why is that? >> well, it's summer in istan l istanbul. it's very warm there. if it's a homemade explosive, it takes up a lot of room and you can sew this into the lining of
a coat. as far as the guns go, it's easy to get them in a gym bag. i'm sure the taxi drivers didn't know. it's really the coats that gave them away. they were probably acting strangely. that's why the police engaged them. i agree with rick, it's absolutely right that you engage these guys right away, insert yourself in the incident and you save lives and juliette said the same thing. that's what our police are going to do at our airports is to learn how to engage these people very quickly. that will cut down on casualties. >> bob, rich, juliette, thank you very much. >> and the homeland security director says isis is probably planning attacks at home. is there any way we can stop them?
lots of news to discuss. 42 people dead, 238 wounded in the terror attack in istanbul's airport. the three suicide bombers have yet to be identified. but all information points to isis. joining me from hot spots around the world and it's perfect to having you talk about this breaking news, the terror around
the world, dominating the headlines. you saw these images and what happened to this airport, is this our new normal? >> yes, and it has been for some while. what interests me about tonight is we now have clearly the battle of the optics, a couple of days, maybe a day and a half, the optics were dominated by the attack on the turkish airport, which if it was isis and signs point in that direction but want doesn't want to conclusion jump, but if this was isis, this is the way of demonstrating they still have strength. they've been losing on the battlefield in syria and iraq but they commanded the optics for a while. but then tonight comes the optics of the air forces in iraq. it's a battle of optics. the air strikes, there's a certain video game quality. >> i know you'd remember when
you'd have to wait for the grainy footage to come back from the war zone and then during desert storm you would see people riding around, it was almost like live reporting and now we're here and now we're in this yard line, in a way and now you can have it immediately come back and see what happens and sometimes it doesn't seem real. >> and that's part of the problem. with air strikes such as we saw tonight in those aerial photographs, this is lethal. this is real death. but this video game quality sort of flattens everything out and we do run the risk as we go forward of people sort of seeing war in a flattened, television version rather than in its full context. >> desensitization, do you think? >> i think it runs that risk. i do. particularly children who grew up with it. i have in my mind at least a 4,
5, 6-year-old child shouldn't be up this hour of the night watching that. >> and that terror attack, i don't think kids should watch that. >> i don't either but it's on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. >> listen. >> it would be surprising to me that isil is now trying to hit us in the region and our homeland. if anyone here thinks that the homeland is hermetically sealed, i would warn against that. >> when you think about the fourth of july weekend coming up and you see these attacks, i think there's a real concern if the cia director is -- should we be concerned in.
>> we better be worried. we do have the fourth of july coming up and there are a lot of soft targets in the country. but it unrealistic as the cia said to think we're going to get through even the rest of the year, perhaps not even through the summer without another attack on our homeland. this is the asymmetrical way that war is being waged now by outfits such as isis. the more they're defeated on the battlefield in places like syria and iraq, the more determined they're going to be to do things like a turkish airport and they would love to do it in this country, no question about it. >> the president is saying the coalition is working, saying that isis is back on their heels. of course there's these new air strikes that happened tonight. he said that they are lashing out, things like what happened in istanbul, they're lashing out because the u.s. and the coalition forces are pushing them back on their heels.
do you agree? >> i do agree. i think the evidence points very strongly in that direction. however, that doesn't mean that the tide has turned completely against isis because they do have this capability through their propaganda, much of it through the internet and their recruitment abilities, they don't have to send an internet message to someone, they just inspire, if that's the proper word, prompt someone to do these attacks. again, president obama, frankly my own personal opinion, he's done some very good things in his measured approach to battling isis. he's still open to criticism, honest people can differ in their opinions about it but not moving faster in syria with things such as air strikes. >> you know we have a presidential election going on so a lot of things are politicized. i want you to listen to what donald trump had to say today. >> isis was formed during her tenure. isis is now worse than ever.
you see what happened yesterday, you see what's going on generally, isis is looking strong. isis is signing up people over the internet. they know how to use the internet better than we do and we do nothing about anything. they're taking our youth. you know why they're taking our youth? because they look like they're winning. we have to give them a big, fat, ugly defeat. we have to defeat them fast. >> so in her response, hillary clinton really hadn't talked about it, she just put out a very succinct statement, she says this, the republicans, at least the leadership are hoping she pivots and becomes more presidential. do you think he is? >> no, he hasn't made that pivot. however, that doesn't mean he isn't being effective in the presidential campaign. he says we have to beat them fast, direct quote. that's a statement that hits viscerally. it's an appeal to emotion. he doesn't say how we're supposed to defeat them fast, no
detail about it. i don't intend this to be critical, i intend to be analytical that what you have here in the presidential campaign when it comes to how do we address this ongoing battle against terrorism, you have an appeal to emotion, to the gut, to the inside from donald trump. from hillary clinton and president obama, it's an appeal to reason. so it's a struggle, do you answer as a voter with your emotions and say trump is right or do you say the more reasoned and measured way is in both the short and long runs the best way. it's one of those folcrums on which this election is run.
it's not my job or yours to be critical of any candidate but it is our job to connect the facts. >> a new poll shows hillary clinton has a six-point lead over donald trump. and many viewed him as hot-headed. is that what americans are looking for when they go to the polls or are they looking for something more advice rahal? >> it always has been in the past. they're looking for intelligent and they're also looking for personality. and trump, he commands almost every news cycle. before noon, he will command a news cycle. this may be the first election, if donald trump should win, will be the first candidate this late in the game or perhaps never organized from the ground up
from the precinct level and got heavy into fund-raising and messaging. so far donald trump hasn't done that but the air war has been very effective for him. nate silver, who among pollsters i respect most saying he gives trump 20 to 25% chance to win. it's a whole lot more than with what trump started. i think that's a tad low. i've said to you before i think that trump can win, but it is true that his path to winning is shrinking and hillary clinton's seems to be widening. however, it's still early and i'll give you an oklahoma guarantee -- >> here it comes. >> that there will be plenty of unexpected things happen between now and next november. >> absolutely. it's still a long way to go and a short time to get there. thank you very much. i appreciate it. always a pleasure and an honor. >> coming up, america is as
i was just told that i didn't even say dan rather's name, i was so enamored by him, as i always am. bill kristol of and matt flap are with us tonight. i'll make sure i say your names. >> what is your take on this now that trump is calling for a much more aggressive response compared to hillary clinton in the aftermath of turkey? >> i think it's very hard for hillary clinton after having been barack obama's secretary of state for her to somehow out of nowhere to come up with some plan that's going to convince people that she understands how
serious this threat of radical islam being terrorism is. i just feel like they fell on their face on isis, they called the jv squad, yes, they might have had some success here or there but it set in with the american people that obama fundamentally doesn't get how serious this is. when it comes to our national security and taking on our national security, the advantage goes to trump. >> do you agree with that, bill kristol? >> i think obama has done a bad job in the second term. i think we have a man who has no knowledge and hillary clinton
who wasn't a very effect of secretary of state. i think america deserves a better choice. we'll see if it's still possible to give america a better choice. it's depressing to me. i was with young foreign policy experts here in washington, people who work on the hill, in the military, it was 25, 30, 32-year-olds, serious people across the political spectrum and they were just depressed this is the choice it's come down to. >> along the same lines, the latest fox poll showed 89% of voters feel that trump is hot headed, in this age of uncertainty and fear and terror attacks, how important will that be to voters because that's what hillary clinton is hitting him on. >> it's hard to know. temperament is not everything but it's important in foreign policy. we've elected a lot of
presidents with different views but they all tended to be calm people. they tend to think before they speak, whether it's reagan, bush. but trump is very different. the damage he's done already, you talk to foreign leaders, pro-american foreign leaders and they're worried. people could hope he would change as president, but he hasn't shown any sign at all actually of being more responsible. >> matt? >> this is the part that i just don't get, which is bill's worked in the white house, i've worked in a white house, we've seen these people up close and personal. i have great respect for the president i worked for, but many of these political leads are including senators and congressmen, they say things behind the camera that are very politically incorrect, that take on our allies, that take on the heads of corporations, then that camera turns on, don, and they
use these very careful diplomatic words. it's true, donald trump simply doesn't do that. but it matches the time of the american people who are really sick to death that we have these serious problems. we have an economy that won't jump start. that's a very serious problem if you don't live in new york city or washington, d.c. or earn your living in some sort of government entity. it's very serious problem for the american people and it's a very serious problem that these radicals are amongst us, these terrorists and they seem to be on the rise. we're not able to stop it. our people are being slaughtered. if you look at all that, the fact that we have an outsider that haven't run for office, believe me, he's an equal opportunity offender but he's connecting to people who want us to wake up and take things seriously. i think bill takes it too sear yowly that he doesn't use the language that's always been used
and i think it's somewhat refreshing. >> you watch the president on the world stage and watch donald trump and in contrast they couldn't be more different. there's no one who is like trump. so sitting there, watching, imagining trump speaking to world leaders today and how that would go over, i mean, it would take some getting used to on the world stage, bill, don't you think, to have a president who speaks -- who use as language that donald trump uses? >> i think it's taken some getting used to hear in america. he's really degraded our political discourse, the personal imports of people. when has a competitor called another candidate for president of the united states crooked hillary, criticized carly fiorina's appearance. it's different when you're behind doors having a beer with
somebody or when you're in public. does that mean you have to be totally politically correct, scho schoolmarmish as hillary clinton can be? no. >> i'll let you respond in a moment. we have to take a break. every day.... at cancer treatment centers of america. learn more at cancercenter.com/experts good luck with the meeting today. thank you. as our business is growing, and you're on the road all day long, it's exhausting. holiday inn has been a part of the team. you're on the fourth floor. it makes life on the road much easier. book your next journey at holidayinn.com don't bring that mess around here, evan! whoo! don't do it. don't you dare. i don't think so! [ sighs ] it's okay, big fella. we're gonna get through this together. [ baseball bat cracks ] nice rip, robbie.
the republican convention, less than three weeks away, donald trump is running out of time to unify his own party. matt, you wanted to respond to bill kristol talking about temperament and tone and language. >> what a lot of people have seen from a very educated and smart barack obama is the destruction of many of the values they hold dear. they've seen changing in the cult of a rapid fire pace and seen a president work around congress, all doing it in the smooth, likable, diplomatic way. i think that that is frustrating to them. and what has just a posed th-- juxtaposed that is that donald
trump has called out hillary clinton and she wants to do it in the corrupt style that we been through where a president has got impeached. it is kind of absurd the idea that we're going to go back to the clintons again. they're the ones that bring to us this raw place, not the republican candidate. >> this is the president calling him out today, donald trump. >>. >> we've had times throughout our history where anti-immigration sentiment is exploited by demagogues. it was directed at the irish, pols and italians and you can go back and read about what was said about those groups and it's identical to what they're now saying about guatemalans and
muslims and salvadorans. but guess what? they kept coming because america offered opportunity for their children and grandchildren. >> he didn't mention donald trump but you know he's talking about donald trump with the action on muslims. >> it's hard to assimilate people. those are policy questions. i am very comfortable with a very conservative line but you can make that calmly and sensibly without denigrating people. because we don't like president
obama's style, we don't need to go to the other extreme. >> senator, the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell said that trump is closer to being a credible candidate. here it is. >> so my hope is that he's beginning to pivot and become what i would call a more serious and credible candidate for the highest office in the land. >> at the moment, though, i hear you saying he does not meet the threshold. >> he's getting closer. >> he's getting closer but is he getting close enough to have republicans who are unified by the convention? matt? >> okay, so, don, the key word there is unified. he is not going to get the same percentages of republicans publicly supporting him like even mitt romney and john mccain had, two nominees as a conservative i didn't particularly like. he's not going to get their same numbers. he's going to get less support from republicans. i think he's going to be able to
get crossover support. i think there's a lot of people who look at donald trump as really not that republican and someone that they might support. so it's a very interesting coalition of people he's going to pull together. i think the key is that he is striking a cord with a lot of americans who want to try something different and i think this election is about upending the status quo and the status quo in washington. >> so then what happens to the party? go ahead, bill. >> i think that's why donald trump has a chance to win. i'm not for trump, i'm not for clinton either. he's for good changes and bad changes all at once but i don't think he has what it takes to be president but hillary embodies the same and not change.
the one thing donald trump that i agree with, is that the pivot should be bound. mitch mcconnell says that he's a protectionist and he wants to repudiate six decades that has helped the country. mitch mcconnell believes in free trade. does he have the nerve to say that or pretend he can make us uncomfortable with donald trump. >> i got to go. new details into the investigation of the latest terror attack in istanbul and the latest air attack on isis in fallujah. .
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